Part two of a two-part article
By Geoffrey Cook, MMNS
Alameda–There is no question that Saddam Husain was a cruel and vulgar dictator. His invasion of Kuwait was a gross violation of global norms, and was a flagrant and a horrendous violation of International law, and the United Nations was quite right in permitting the â€œliberationâ€ of that dry land.
(Of course, the question has been posed why the invaders of oil-rich Kuwait were driven out while the human tragedy and misery in Ruanda was ignored?)
At least, George Bush Senior had the wisdom and â€œgood tasteâ€ not to invade the Land of the Two Rivers even though the â€œhighwayâ€ to Baghdad was a green light, but, instead, he had the foresight to perceive a â€œcan of wormsâ€–which vision his son lacked.
When one nation conquers an alien land, they have to administer a hostile and resentful population under the constraints of International law (which the Israelis have refused to do with Palestinians). This became the challenge of the American-led Coalition after 2003.
Nevertheless, as Hussein tyrannically held onto power, his party was a Baathist Socialist one. This brought many benefits to the average person who did not belong to one of the â€œthreatening minorities.â€ Forty years ago your writer wrote a review of an enthusiastic book (written by a journalist who had lived in the capital and married an Iraqi woman), and was quite praiseful of the Baghdad regime of that time period and the Baathist government of the time. For instance, Mesopotamia had universal education to those who had the talent to benefit from it. The rights of women were respected and were the strongest in the Arab world.
Iraqi labor delegations from Basra, visiting this country (i.e., the U.S.A.) five years ago, stated that before Saddam, Iraq was the wealthiest state in the Middle East. Further, the author of the 1970 book claimed that Iraq had about the same theoretical per capita wealth as Sweden, but because of a legitimate security threat (again Israel) much of this oil-based wealth (forty years past) was diverted into their military.
Still, there was near universal education through college â€“ for those who had the talent â€” which included girls who were more free to pursue their goals more than in most of the Arab World. In the aforementioned inquiry of the late pre-mentioned Washington Post report of the previously cited Gallup investigation of the same year on Iraqi public opinion, it was stated that â€œthe current strifeâ€¦have [has]â€¦eclipsed anyâ€¦grievances of past regimesâ€¦[vis-Ã -vis] to the current conflictâ€¦â€
Oil has [had] a profound influence upon the War and its aftermath. Iraq has, of course, the third largest known reserves of oil on earth. Ever since the petroleum embargo of the oil-rich Arab Statesâ€™ Oil States — in response to the United Statesâ€™ support of Israel in the 1971 War, wherein the West Bank was captured — fueled much anger over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict over the Arab world — Washington has been attempting to corner a reliable supply of oil to keep the American economy expanding. (In fact, after the invasion of the Mesopotamian oil fields, the Americans permitted that commodity to be sent directly to Haifa, too!) Instead of spilling the blood of their youth and polluting the worldâ€™s environment, the American Federation should have used the resources employed to protect oil interests over the past forty years rather to develop alternative sources of energy!
The Union leaders reported that the oil sector was the only fiscal section of the economy that was receiving attention by the occupying government in Iraq. The first American civil administrator, Paul Bremer, shaped Iraq into what is probably the most Capitalistic State in the world. (Neo-Conservative theory saw liberal [or Neo-Ricardian] Capitalism and Jeffersonian democracy as one and the same. The Bush government and the ideology behind it were dedicated to promote Jeffersonian democracy upon the Iraqis.) Democracy is a positive, and there are many types of democracy, but it has to evolve in relation to the history, customs and religion of the society from which it devolves out. This is one thing that is askew in Neo-Conservative political theory.
Working toward closure, the War the United States initiated upon Iraq was one of the conquest of a stronger nation upon a weaker one. That the Baghdadi regime before 2003 was tyrannical is undeniable, but the Franco-Anglo-American isolation of Iraq after the (First Gulf War) of (1990-1991) was working although, as with almost all embargos, the weakest and most vulnerable citizens were suffering the most. Strides were being made to keep the Revolutionary Guards away from minority regions (Kurdistan, etc.) through air power and not occupation. The Iraq War was a terrible tactical blunder for Americaâ€™s â€œImperial Homelandâ€ (to use the World War II Japanese terminology), for, as Hans Blix, the U.N.â€™s weapons inspector to Iraq just before the War stated in Berkeley a year after the initial aggression, The effects of the â€œâ€¦War has spreadâ€¦â€ terrorism rather than to have destroyed it. According to Dr. Blix, the War against Iraq was ill-conceived. (Further, the wrong entity was attacked, leaving the States to still have to pick up the pieces in Afghanistan whence an actual aggressive attack had emanated against the American Metropolis [Center]!) — not Iraq!
Both in the United States and in Iraq, public opinion is disgusted. Those in Baghdad and Washington are faced with financial and infrastructure reconstruction on an immense scale!
The Obama Administration is doing the best it can do while reorganizing an American foreign policy better respecting the Muslim world. In Iraq, since the fall of the King over fifty years ago, Baghdad has had historically â€œstrongâ€ governments. By forcing a type of democracy upon the populace that has not developed from the culture of the region, a weak government has arisen upon the occupied that may force them to rely on a the Neo-Colonialist State for survival for quite some time provided Mesopotamia itself can remain as a unified nation, and not devolve politically along its ethnic boundaries.
Further, Americaâ€™s fate in the Arab and the larger Islamic terrain, and, ultimately, the rest of the planet depends upon a fair and equable settlement of the Arab-Israeli imbroglio.
It was more in Tel Avivâ€™s interest than in Washingtonâ€™s for regime change in Baghdad and the Iraqi hinterlands; therefore, Americaâ€™s â€œspecial relationshipâ€ with Israel must be jettisoned for one that is more in North Americaâ€™s long term strategic interests: Succinctly, an Israel capable of defending itself without the U.S; next to a viable independent Palestinian State!
Your researcherâ€™s final point, the American Neo-Conservative ideology broke the American diplomatic strategy of depending upon Sunni rulers to maintain U.S. regional interests.
Further, this War has definitely strengthened Shia and, especially, Iranian influence! That, right or wrong, has weakened Americaâ€™s influence and position in the Middle East!